Black money list: Probe new names too, says SIT chief

M.B. Shah, chairperson of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on black money. File photo  

With the number of Indians in the HSBC Swiss account list turning out to be double that with the government, Justice M.B. Shah, chairperson of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, said instructions had been given to the government at a scheduled meeting held on Monday to identify the illegal accounts.

‘Onus on government’

Speaking to The Hindu on the phone, Justice Shah said the onus was on the government and revenue agencies to act with “promptitude.” Once the illegal accounts were identified, the SIT would ensure that swift action would follow against them under the law.

The Indian list of Swiss accounts, now reported at 1,195 from 628, as published by The Indian Express, came even as the government is completing its prosecution into the original list of 628 Indian account holders.

Bring back the black money, Supreme Court had said

“Some of them [628 Indian account-holders] have paid penalties. Besides, we [the government] have been given time till March 31, 2015 to complete prosecution of black money holders abroad under the Income Tax Act,” Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before the Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu.

Justice Shah said there should be no delay following the assurance given to the apex court. The SIT is scheduled to file a detailed report in the Supreme Court on the status of investigations by mid-April 2015.

The Supreme Court had already made it clear to the government that merely delving into names and details without results was not good enough.

“We are interested in seeing the money come back to us [nation], not in names, details,” Chief Justice Dattu had orally observed during the January hearing.

The court’s observation came when senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, on whose 2009 petition the apex court constituted the SIT, said that not a “single rupee has come out in the past six months.”

The contention that the BJP manifesto had promised to take steps on a “priority basis to minimise the scope of corruption by minimising the hoarding of black money” also came up in court.

In a separate note to the Supreme Court, the SIT had recommended urgent steps the government should take on black money.

These include setting up five courts in Mumbai to expedite hearing in over 5,000 pending Income Tax cases; to add “tax evasion” as a scheduled offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002; to amend the Foreign Exchange Management Act to empower authorities to seize and confiscate property of violators which are of equivalent value within the country and tallying of import-export data with foreign governments to control trade-based money laundering.

Most importantly, the SIT had stressed a cap on the “maximum cash an individual or entity is allowed to possess at a particular time.”

Top 10 names

The following is the list of top 10 Indians and the amount they hold in Swiss banks, according to the report published by The Indian Express:


Uttamchandani Gopaldas Wadhumal/Family



Mehta Rihan Harshad/Family



Tharani Mahesh Thikamdas



Gupta Shravan



Kothari Bhadrashyam Harshad/Family



Shaunak Jitendra Parikh/Family



Tandon Sandeep



Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani



Anil Ambani



Krishna Bhagwan Ramchand


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 7:43:49 PM |

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